Secrets of the Queen’s wardrobe

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A former royal staffer has revealed how the Queen selects her outfits, including that she doesn’t actually see her full wardrobe.

Palace insider Paul Burrell has revealed where the monarch keeps her clothing and accessories, and that she chooses what to wear by looking at a sketches of her floral, bright-coloured custom-made ensembles.

“The Queen has to have her outfits brought down to her, all her clothes are kept on the top floor,” Burrell said in Yahoo UK’s video series, The Royal Box.

Burrell had a front-row seat to Her Majesty’s day-to-day life when he was her footman (aka personal assistant), before becoming Princess Diana’s butler.

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Green with envy! Queen Elizabeth, right, with her granddaughter-in-law, Meghan Markle. Picture: Getty Images
media_cameraGreen with envy! Queen Elizabeth, right, with her granddaughter-in-law, Meghan Markle. Picture: Getty Images

“Her dresser will bring down two outfits in the morning, which are sketched with pieces of material clipped to them so that the Queen can remember whether it’s silk or cotton or wool,” he said.

“The one the Queen picks is the one which is brought downstairs from up above, so she doesn’t actually see her wardrobe with clothes in it.”

She has a thing for pink, including this outfit worn to a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on July 3. Picture: AFP
media_cameraShe has a thing for pink, including this outfit worn to a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on July 3. Picture: AFP
The Queen seemed to channel Reese Witherspoon circa Legally Blonde at Cambridge on July 9. Picture: MATRIX
media_cameraThe Queen seemed to channel Reese Witherspoon circa Legally Blonde at Cambridge on July 9. Picture: MATRIX

The Queen, 93, isn’t scared to repeat outfits, as the New York Post notes, she is known for re-wearing custom-outfits made by her dressmaker Angela Kelly or royal couturier Stewart Parvin.

The Queen is also known to hand down items she no longer wears.

“The Queen’s clothes are a constant source of comment in the media and she will wear a favourite outfit for years,” according to the 2011 book Not in Front of the Corgis.

“When she finally tires of it, she will hand it to one of her dressers, who can either wear it or sell it.”

She has an extensive collection of floral frocks, as seen on July 17 at Buckingham Palace. Picture: AFP
media_cameraShe has an extensive collection of floral frocks, as seen on July 17 at Buckingham Palace. Picture: AFP
More florals during a private reception at Buckingham Palace on July 11. Picture: Getty Images
media_cameraMore florals during a private reception at Buckingham Palace on July 11. Picture: Getty Images

This is a trait shared by her granddaughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, who is also known for re-wearing her designer outfits, including a hot pink Stella McCartney dress she had own for nearly a decade and rewore recently to Archie’s christening.

For the “intimate” christening gathering, Kate took a thrifty approach, sporting a pink Stella McCartney dress with a pussy bow neckline, teamed with a red headband and a pair of red pointy-toed heels.

Kate first wore the knee-length dress in 2009 and has had it in her wardrobe for a decade.

Of course, this recycled outfit approach is a far cry from Meghan Markle, who has spent £800,000 ($A1.43 million) on her Givenchy and Burberry-clad designer wardrobe.

Originally published as Secrets of the Queen’s wardrobe

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